With the COVID-19 outbreak many companies are now asking their employees to work from home.
Working in a home office needs to be taken very seriously. Just like the workplace, home offices need to keep workers safe and productive. Billions of dollars go into corporate offices to ensure that workers have ideal, safe environments resulting in healthier employees and high quality work. However, with home offices there are new risks since companies cannot control or monitor how home offices are used. Additionally, most workers may not know how to correctly build and create a home office.
Here’s what could go wrong:
Most employees are not familiar with office ergonomics. Ergonomic furniture should be customized for the employee’s size, workstyle and home office space. Employees will go online and search for sit-stand desk converters even though each employee has a different body type and size. For example, employees below 5 feet and employees above 6 feet in height will need thoughtful recommendations for desks and chairs. There is no “one size fits all” in ergonomic furniture and by choosing the wrong ergonomic furniture employees could get injured.
Wrong purchases. Many may purchase furniture that looks nice but does not work best for their posture while working at home for 8 hours, which is a different ballgame altogether compared to answering emails or taking a meeting from home. Employees will have pain and discomfort if they work in an improper posture for entire workdays. Without guidance, employees may buy low quality products from office supply stores which are not ergonomic.
Liability due to injuries. If employees are ordered to work from home, and they are injured as a result of poor ergonomic workspaces, companies may take on additional liability and insurance costs.
Added costs. If employees buy the wrong furniture, they will need to replace it with high quality ergonomic furniture later, thus doubling the costs of home offices.
Here’s what to do:
- Get involved with your employee’s ergonomic choices. Advise they shop at a local ergonomic office furniture store or a website like https://www.ergodirect.com/
- Have each employee find customized ergonomic products for their height and workstyle. Have them speak with an ergonomic expert (free consultation available here) – https://www.ergodirect.com/help/contact_us.php
- If possible, pay a little more for name brands
vs. generic, low quality products. High quality examples are:
- Ergotron – https://www.ergodirect.com/431-ergotron
- Humanscale – https://www.ergodirect.com/229-humanscale
- Office Master – https://www.ergodirect.com/430-office-master-chairs
- Set up a corporate account with an ergonomic office products supplier and advise your employees work through that supplier so you know that they are buying high quality, customized ergonomic furniture
Choosing the right home office ergonomic furniture will keep employees productive and healthy. In order to ensure you help employees make the right choices it is advisable to speak with an ergonomic expert. We don’t know how long we will all need to shelter in place and work from home, so it’s best to ensure the home work environment is perfect for your staff.